How To Mouse Proof A Camper
Mice love RVs almost as much as we do! These little critters are always on the lookout for a safe place to nest, hide from predators, and maybe eat a few crumbs off the floor. RVs are a great place for them to fill all of those needs, so a lot of owners are looking for ways to keep their vehicles pest-free. It’s always good to know how to mouse proof a camper and there are many ways to do this.
Mice can wreak havoc on your RV and nobody likes to have little pests living in their walls or cabinets. They can also chew through your electrical wiring and leave droppings all over the vehicle.
While you could always call an exterminator, there are also many solutions you can try yourself first. These range from preventative measures to active trapping/killing methods. Maybe just one will be effective, but it’s usually best to use a range of different techniques for the best results.
Remove food from stored RVs
One of the best things you can do to keep mice out is to remove any tempting morsels that might lure them in. Mice have great senses of smell, and they can sniff out any food that is left in your RV, even dry goods that don’t have much of a smell!
So whenever you leave your RV empty for long periods of time, make sure you clear out all your food storage. This is a good habit to get into anyway because you don’t want to let food rot or go stale in between your travels.
Keep your cabinets and pantry doors firmly shut as well so that any little intruders won’t be able to access them. Consider adding locks if you want to be extra safe.
Keep floors, cabinets, and work surfaces clean
Another great method for how to mouse proof a camper is to leave a clean slate every time you store it. Mice, insects, and other pests may be attracted to crumbs, food spills, and other morsels that are left behind. It’s a good idea to regularly sweep and clean your RV regardless of pests, but make sure you’re extra diligent about it if you want to avoid attracting mice.
After every RV trip, do a thorough cleaning and wipedown of the floors and work surfaces. Doing this will also help you notice if there is any mold, water damage, or other problems you need to be aware of. Make sure your camper has plenty of airflow during this time as well so you can clear out any leftover smells of food. If the mice don’t sense any food, they’re less likely to target your RV.
Block off openings
Even if you remove all your food and leave it looking spick-and-span, mice may still be attracted to the safety that your RV provides. After all, it’s still an enclosed area that’s insulated and safe from predators. They will try to get in any way that they can, so it’s important to seal up all the entrances you can think of.
Obviously, you should always close the doors and windows, but mice can also get in through air conditioning vents, hookup outlets, and any other small openings. If your RV is parked under a tree or is near a rooftop, mice can even drop down from above.
Seal off all the vents and openings with covers. For an extra layer of protection, you can also place steel wool inside all of the openings. Adding a few mothballs can also make it smell less appealing and provide another layer of blockage.
Use an RV cover
For a final layer of protection, consider using an RV cover. These will help you in your quest of how to mouse proof a camper and they will also provide protection from UV damage, bugs, dust, and other debris.
Although mice can usually chew through fabric, a cover will serve as an added layer of protection that will hopefully discourage them. The harder you make it and the less appealing your RV is as a hiding place/source of food, the better off you’ll be.
Install LED lights under RV
Another tactic for how to mouse proof a camper is to play off of a mouse’s natural instincts. These little critters are prey animals and they want to avoid being out in the open as much as possible. They are also nocturnal and usually travel in the dark.
Installing LED lights on the exterior of your RV will light up the area around it, making the mice feel exposed and scared to approach. You can install these lights under the vehicle as well because this is where the majority of them will approach from. This may end up attracting bugs, so it’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons.
Of course, once mice are actually in your RV, you need to find a way to get them out. Using poison is not recommended because it can be harmful to children and pets. There are lots of different mouse traps you can use depending on whether you want to catch and release the mice or just kill them.
Snap mouse traps are quite common and effective. They are easy to reuse and are cheap. However, they can be hard to set up and can hurt humans as well if we’re not careful!
Glue traps can catch all sorts of pests. They are effective, easy to set up, and you won’t have to handle the mouse that gets caught. However they each can only be used once and they are considered to be quite inhumane because most of the trapped mice die a slow death from starvation.
If you want to catch and release a mouse, you can use a live-catch trap. This will trap a mouse in an enclosed space where you can safely pick them up, carry them outside, and release them. It’s always possible that mice will continue to return though, so this is one of the less effective methods.
Try scented deterrents
Mice have good senses of smell and there are some scents that they tend to avoid. You can try spraying or placing these scents around your RV (especially around entrances). Some deterrents to try include:
- Cayenne pepper
- Dryer sheets
- Tea bags (peppermint is best)
These may have varying degrees of success, especially if they sit for a long time and begin to lose potency.
Ultrasonic Sound Device
Finally, you can try using an ultrasonic sound device as part of your efforts into how to mouse proof a camper. These are small electronic devices that emit an ultrasonic pitch that humans can’t hear. Mice have sensitive ears and will want to avoid anything that is loud or distressing.
The downside of this tactic is that dogs and other pets may be affected by it as well. If your furry friend often hangs out near the RV, they may become distressed and irritated by the noise. If you don’t have pets though, this can be a good method to try!
Make sure you keep track of all your RV maintenance and repairs with an online tool such as Maintain My RV. Not only can you keep all of your documents in one place, but you’ll also receive timely reminders when maintenance is due to help you avoid costly repairs and potentially serious accidents.